Wrassling with Writing

Standard

For the first time in a long time, I don’t have any writing homework to do this week. I’m starting a new writing class — the fourth one already, which is tough to believe — and so there is no assignment currently. It’s a nice break, writing a sketch every week can be a little draining on the writing resources.

I’ve found, taking these classes, that it’s tough to balance the work that has a definite deadline with my regular writing, which doesn’t. The deadline always wins.

Writing is strange work. The first thing is that it is, in fact, work. If you don’t sit down and do the work, nothing happens. Nothing is created. Ideas stay locked in their tiny idea closets, the cobwebs gathering around them. Poor cobwebby ideas.

Oh, hello there, hypothetical reader! You haven’t been around in a while. What’s that you say? You’ve noticed the whole “sit down and do the work” thing from the absence of my regular blog posts? You’re truly observant, hypothetical reader. Truly observant.

Writing is a mental contest, there’s really no other way to describe it. It’s about the drive to sit still for as long as it takes, to have nothing in the world but a keyboard and a screen. Or a pen and paper for those people who are so inclined and have the handwriting to allow them to have at least an inkling of what they wrote later. I am not one of those people, given the handwriting.

Sometimes you can take that mental challenge and just knock it into the stratosphere, the words appearing like a rapidly-knit sweater. And other times, your fingers won’t even say hello to the keys.

I’ve had a lot of those other times lately. But watch out, mental contest. I’ve got my writing shoes on and I know how to use them. OK, I don’t actually tend to wear shoes when I write, but you know what I mean.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Got Book Suggestions? I Want ‘Em

Standard

I have a confession to make, one of which I am not entirely proud. Everyone ready? Promise not to think less of me?

I haven’t read a book in a while. A long, long while. Though I find reading is so much easier between my Kindle and the Kindle app for my phone, squeezing in a few minutes here and a few minutes there, lately I just haven’t. Aside from some fluffy celebrity memoirs (oh, Miranda Hart, you are one of the funniest humans ever to human), I just haven’t lost myself in a book for some time.

Well, that’s going to change.

In the not-too-distant future, I’m going to be taking a trip, and I am going to actually have time to read. Time. To sit and just read. Anything.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to slip away to another world, one that feels so solid, even though it’s fictional that it seems like, on some level, it must exist somewhere. To meet people who take you into their lives, who take you along with them on their adventures and have the generosity to bear the the full brunt of the consequences.

So much fun.

The only thing is that I have no idea what to get. I like fun reads, I’m not looking for very heavy, and I’m definitely not looking for the Toni Morrison brand of beautiful writing that reaches into your chest and pricks at your heart, one cut at a time until you are scarred for life (yes, I’m talking about the masterpiece that is Beloved).

So keeping that in mind, any suggestions? I’d like to have books I can get electronically. Must-reads, funny reads, weird reads, let me know what belongs on my list. Thanks, there’s a whole universe of new books out there.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

A Rain Cloud Isn’t Always a Rain Cloud

Standard

Yesterday, it was supposed to rain. It looked threatening, and all the weather reports warned of dire storms ahead. Flood warnings abounded, and it was supposed to be another soggy day.

And then the sun came out, shoving its way through the clouds without regard to weather forecasts or predictions. In the distance, the gray was streaked and looked waterlogged, but the distance never arrived. It stayed where it was and we stayed where we were, and Sunday wasn’t nearly so bleak after all.

It’s funny the way that things do that, the way that you are certain that they will be one way. Everyone tells you that they will be; everyone accepts it as fact. That is how it is going to be be. The sky and the weatherman say so.

But you can wait for the deluge, and hide from the deluge. And sometimes the deluge never comes.

The truth is that no matter what is happening, no matter what is above us, somewhere, way above the clouds, the sun is shining. We my not see it for a while, which is likely to happen this week around here, but even when we can’t, it’s still up there.

Clouds don’t always mean rain. And even those clouds — whether they’re big, heavy, watery ones or the kind that just take up they sky not doing much of anything at all — don’t hang around forever.

Sometimes the sun itself pushes them out of the way.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

A New Day, A New Determination, Maybe

Standard

OK, so after yesterday’s braincation, I am determined, utterly determined, to keep myself focused today. I’m even considering a list.

A list, people.

We all know there’s nothing better than crossing things off of a list. I’m still adjusting to the new computer, with its new keyboard. I’ve ditched its touchpad though, because it kept erasing entire paragraphs without my input. Paragraphs I wanted, no matter what it felt about it.

I’ve gotten a wireless mouse, and I’ve been using the touchscreen a surprising amount. Well, surprising to me. Not, maybe, so much to the people who invented touchscreen computers.

So as I stand here today — OK, I’m not standing, I’m sitting, though I do think one of those standing desks might be a good thing. I’m afraid of those walking desks, though, they seem to have “should have known” all over them — so as I sit here today, typing, I pledge to rev up my productivity. I will, without question, be more productive today than yesterday.

Oh hello there, hypothetical reader! It’s been so long since you’ve been by, how are you? Oh really? I’m glad to hear that. What was that point you wanted to make, hypothetical reader?

Yes, you’re right, it isn’t going to be hard to top yesterday’s record. Very astute of you to notice.

So it might not be a high bar, but at least it’s a bar and a goal. Do you hear that, brain? Today you are sticking with me, no wandering off to exotic, gossamer places, unless those exotic, gossamer places are in what I’m writing. Do you hear me brain?

Brain??

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Daydream Reliever

Standard

So today I have my head in the clouds. My brain never came back from the weekend, and I’m having a lot of trouble bringing my focus down to this mortal plane.

I mean, who wants the mortal plane anyway when you could have clouds?! People who have stuff to do, that’s who. Oh wait, that’s me.

You’d think being in a daydreamy mood would help with writing. My imagination is drifting gently from thought to thought, caught on a soft breeze. Unfortunately, though, in that state, the ideas tend to stay inside my head and don’t make the necessary trip out through my fingers.

Actually getting something written is work. And not one part of me, from the brain that has to think to the hands that have to type, wants to do its job. It’s like I’m on a relaxed, floaty strike.

Which is really not a great thing on a Monday. If the week starts out this way, how’s it going to end up going? That’s the big question. If trying get this post written is any indication, possibly not too smoothly.

Yikes.

There are times I’d indulge this feeling, take a break and just gather wool. Not literal wool, though, because, I mean, what would I do with it? It’s not like I can spin yarn. I can spin a yarn, but I don’t think you need wool for that. Or maybe you do. Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong.

Maybe I should ask Hugh Howey.

Huh, look at that. I managed to put together an entire blog post. Next stop, the WORLD! OK, maybe just some blog visits. And oh yeah. Some writing.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

 

Surprise! Appointment

Standard

I was sitting on my couch yesterday when the phone rang. I saw the name of my hair salon on the caller ID, so I answered.

“Hello?” I said.

“Hi,” said the bright voice on the other end, “this is Vivian from the Hair Salon* (*names have been changed to protect the identities, and also I am too lazy to look up how to spell the name of the hair salon). I’m calling to confirm your appointment for tomorrow.”

Tomorrow. Meaning today. So that’s where that hair appointment got to. I knew I had made one, I just didn’t remember exactly when the appointment was for. Good thing they do reminder calls.

“That’s great,” I told Vivian, “and I’ll be there, because I need it.”

So do I thank my past self for looking out for me, my curls a little worse for the wear, or curse my past self for not putting the date in my phone like I said I was going to do?

It gets so easy now to just rely on external factors to remind us when things are coming up, when things need to be done. I know I never have to note a single dentist appointment, because they will text me, email me and call me. In fact, if I ever disappear, I suspect my dentist’s office will be the one to track me down.

I’m not sure exactly what my past self was thinking when it chose the time, although it’s working out a little more conveniently than I thought it would. Will I become a past-self today, securing an appointment that will never make it into my phone, proving that I’ve learned absolutely nothing from this whole exercise?

Yup.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

 

Shiny New Monday

Standard

Well check this out! I’m writing this blog post from my brand-new computer! Does it look different? I think it looks different.

It turned out that it didn’t take close to three weeks to arrive. In fact, it didn’t even take one week. So here I am, all fancied up and trying to adjust to typing with a new keyboard. And a new touchpad. I’ve already erased one whole sentence accidentally.

Oops.

It’s got a touchscreen, so now I’m really in the 21st century. It also isn’t dying every so often, which I could see as a distinct advantage while writing. The old one hadn’t BSODed while I was in the middle of any actual writing, which is good, but it was only a matter of time.

Getting a new computer is a little like getting a new place to live, you have to learn where everything goes, you have to find all the glitches and quirks. Like I just discovered it’s easier to type with this one when it’s closer, so I may have to find a new way of working. But I guess that’s part of the fun of getting something new.

Meanwhile for anyone keeping score, I still have the men working right outside my window. They are currently having a very spirited discussion that I can’t completely understand; I also can’t tell if they are speaking English or Spanish. I can hear the hammering and drilling, though, so it’s back to my runway guider ear muffs.

Ah, that’s better.

So that was a lot of babble with not much to say, I suppose. But it’s one of those Mondays where I never heard the starter pistol, so after my initial “wait, is it time for me to start?” an uneven, hesitant gait is better than nothing. Right?

Yep, I’m sticking to that.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!